I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you
Psalms 119:9-11 (NIV) How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in our Bible. It is believed to have been written by Ezra during the restoration period when the Jews returned to Israel from Babylon. The entire psalm is about the Word of God. Each section is entitled with a Hebrew letter, and each verse in that section begins with that letter. Every verse mentions the Word of God in some form.
Ezra asks how is it possible for a young man to keep his way pure? They are experiencing physical changes and have little experience to know how to deal with it. The world today is of no help. It encourages them to sin against God and not consider it wrong to do so. What would your advice be to a young man who wanted to serve God in all his ways? The Holy Spirit says that the one way is by living according to God's word. There must be time spent in God's Word and the contemplation of what it is saying. That must be accompanied by the desire to keep what one hears from the Word. But that alone is not enough. The next verse shows us that even though we seek God with all our heart, we need to ask God to keep us obedient to what we have heard. "God, don't let me stray from your commands. I understand what You are saying, but I need Your help. I recognize that without Your help I would not be able to do it."
But the author didn't just leave it at that. He memorized what God was saying to Him. He kept the words like a hidden treasure locked in his heart, brought out to enjoy, examining often. Each day you can take a treasure from your morning time with God and place it within your heart to help guide you through the day. Take it out often. Show it to friends. Let it be the thought that is the backdrop of your whole day. Sin will keep you from the Word, or the Word will keep you from sin.
Challenge: Young person, or old person with a young heart, take time to gather treasure to take with you through each day. Make some of them a part of your permanent collection by committing them to memory.